Going Global? Don’t Forget to Go Local with your Talent Acquisition Strategy

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The majority of today’s large organizations have gone global, and many face the challenge of entering into new hiring markets outside the US to acquire top talent. In order to succeed in globalizing one’s talent acquisition strategy, companies need to excel at finding, attracting and retaining diverse talent within a completely new landscape. This process begins with a deep understanding of the cultural job search preferences of the target talent community.

Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, a theory developed by Geert Hofstede and IBM’s Personnel Department, standardizes five cultural values and provides a baseline through which different cultures can be analyzed and compared. Seven Step used these dimensions to help one of the largest international electronics companies develop localized career pages for use in its recruitment efforts in various parts of the world (throughout Asia Pacific, Central Europe and Latin America). The theory allowed us to incorporate scientific evidence to support our recommendations on why localized career websites are the lynchpin of a successful global talent acquisition strategy.

Asia Pacific: China

In comparing China’s cultural dimensions with those of the U.S., our team discovered that power distance is a key dimension to consider when creating a localized recruitment strategy. The culture supports inequalities amongst working people and views titles within the workplace as extremely important. Given this focus on status, it is essential to highlight company distinctions, such as awards and competitive rankings, as a means of localizing your company’s career website.

Equally important is incorporating translations or an option to translate your company’s career listings. In China, individualism is low as compared to the U.S. and language is viewed as a unifying agent. Flexibility with language translation enhances the candidate experience, while positioning your company as a true member of the community. Furthermore, translation capabilities afford your career listings better searchability with a local audience of job seekers.

Central Europe

One of the most important cultural dimensions we recognized in Central Europe was high uncertainty avoidance, meaning that the culture is more risk-averse than that of the U.S. Ambiguity is viewed negatively and job seekers prefer to weigh the facts of an employment opportunity over taking a chance. Therefore, any localized career site in Central Europe should be content heavy. 

Central Europeans are less interested in the image and video-driven content used in other parts of the world, preferring to look at the explicit details of a position they are considering to make sure they are fully informed about each benefit (salary, health insurance, vacation time) the potential employer offers. They are also focused on long-term career development, so it is important to publish information regarding company award wins and distinctions, as job seekers in this region will look at an organization’s overall successes to gauge its stability and trajectory.

Latin America

In looking at Latin America we recognized collectivism as a defining dimension of the region, meaning that culture dictates that one should think of the “group” before himself. Since this culture emphasizes the importance of groups, websites should mirror this value. 

Organizations should ensure that images display localized groups versus individuals and incorporate the use of “we” instead of a company name. These small tweaks will personalize your company’s career website and make job seekers feel as though they are already part of your organization. Also noteworthy and unique is job seeker interest in industry-related news and developments. Latin Americans think of their careers within the context of their industry, not their company. Therefore, career pages should discuss developments across your broader industry and how the role a candidate is exploring is aligned with larger industry goals and achievements.

Talent acquisition across all nations requires a thoughtful employment branding strategy that informs localized career website design. It’s important for every global brand to investigate and understand the cultural values and aspirations of each new region they enter in order to connect with the best talent the region has to offer.

Are you employing localized career sites in your global talent search? 

This post was co-authored by Arielle McElhinney, Talent Aquisition Specialist


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